Young and the Invested


Hello Money Geekdom,

It is a pleasure to be with you here today at Michael’s behest. I have the honor of presenting you the best of the (money-related) web this week. It is not a task I take lightly.

I’m recommending stuff all around right now it would seem because I will also serve as next week’s Rockstar Guest Curator. I’ll share, the gig is sweet and well worth it, but man do you labor under some heavy restrictions for content selection.

Many quality pieces missed the mark simply because their authors had received the Rockstar treatment recently. Even the greatest quality couldn’t overcome this obstacle.

Happily, using Michael’s far-reaching platform, I have no such restrictions. I can wield its mighty power to bring attention to those fully-deserving of a wider audience.

But before we jump into the fold, I will share a little bit about myself. My name is Riley and I blog at Young and the Invested, a site dedicated to helping young professionals find financial independence and live their best lives.

I’ve also got an interest in low-fantasy stories. If I hear someone yelling, “FIREBALL! FIREBALL!”…I’m out. Sorry LARPers, it’s just not my thing.

Saying this, however, I will confess to loving Harry Potter. I’m a hypocrite. I can’t quite distinguish why I’m accepting of that high-fantasy world and not others. I am vast, I contain multitudes. And I don’t have to explain myself to you!

I have a strong preference for the more subtle, mystical stories like Lord of the Rings or the Name of the Wind Series by Patrick Rothfuss. Speaking of which, when is he going to publish that final book? I’m dying over here.

I’m calling it now: it’s Denna’s name in the box. That’s the secret he’s carrying. You heard it here first, folks. When he releases that book in 2025, remember you read that prediction here. And if I’m wrong, no one’s perfect, okay?

Finally, I manage to hold these heretical ideas while being gainfully employed as a senior financial analyst with a CPA at a Fortune 500 company in New Orleans.

You didn’t think you’d be getting two Louisiana boys (Jerry at Peerless Money Mentor) curating your web content back to back, now did you? Few deserve to be so fortunate. Stay tuned for Michael’s chronicling of Jerry and I’s rise to power. It will be swift. It will be absolute. It will be unjustified (at least on my part).

 

3 Posts I’m Digging this Week

Sometimes the Best Things in Life Aren’t Free: Spending Money for a Happy Life – Passive Aggressive Investor

For those pursuing the financial independence, retire early (FIRE) movement, cost is likely a concern you hold. Passive Aggressive Investor offers a lesson on why relationships and experiences are important for life satisfaction, but sometimes so is spending money.

PAI is quick to point out how beneath the exterior of the FIRE community is a cult of frugality intent on pinching every penny. Engaging in this constant self-denial will be rewarded in life after work, or so the thinking goes.

PAI argues instead, by denying yourself the right to spend money on things which bring you joy and pleasure, you can forgo some of life’s most meaningful experiences. Sometimes it is acceptable not to be pious with your spending commandments and indulge.

Much like the Puritans who sailed the ocean blue and were succeeded by many immigrants in a new land thereafter, adherents of FIRE doctrine should reject this cult of frugality. Doing so will allow ourselves to be happy, and sometimes that means spending money.

It can also accomplish the goal many claim to be their impetus for pursuing FIRE: gaining more time and experiences with loved ones. Money, when used wisely, can be a tool to improve our social relationships and experiences; it is a means to an end.

 

How New Tech IPOs Could Cause SF Bay Area Real Estate Prices to Fall Further by Financial Samurai

Perhaps you’ve heard of the tech unicorns out west with plans to go public this year? Well, if you haven’t heard of those intentions but you’ve been alive for the past 5 years, you’ve probably heard of the companies.

With names like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Slack, Pinterest and more, there’s surely about to be at least one city in the U.S. minting millionaires overnight, right?

Well, if you look at Sam’s consulting-level case study analysis, it ain’t San Fran. No sir, his math shows much less money will be flowing into the hands of your Average Joe software engineer.

Only a paltry, high 6 figures for most. Adding to it, the number of millionaires-in-the-making are much likely far fewer than media claims would suggest.

But Riley, what does any of this matter? High 6-figures still buys you a ticket to the great life. Those payouts will get plowed straight back into the red-hot real estate market there, clearly, right?

As anyone looking for real estate in ‘Frisco knows, that doesn’t buy you luxury. Not there at least.

It likely gets you a run-down duplex in the Inner Sunset with a crotchety elderly tenant hoarding Beatles albums who refuses to move out when you buy. And guess what? SF eviction laws are tough. In other words, you’d better get to know your tenant, because he might be there for a while.

All that aside, Sam does a great job crafting a counterpoint to the national narrative being bandied about with Silicon Valley Sultans dropping mega change on some sweet digs. He assails the notion of there being a huge surge of demand from Tech IPO F.U. money because human psychology is real.

When long-time SF homeowners saw home prices dip with huge inventory increases in 2017 and 2018, they’re suddenly caught thinking their home value might not double every 10 years. In fact, they could go down.

This will push a lot more supply onto the market, counteracting any minor blip this tech money might have presented.

Sam’s great analysis should be spread far and wide. Be sure to have a read and see what you think for yourself.

 

3 Financial Fasting Challenges to Help You Become Debt Free by Debt and Cupcakes

My wife and I are saving as much as we can to make a down payment on a house in the near future. Not only are we saving a fair amount of our take-home pay, but we’re also looking for ways to cut down on our budgeted expenses.

We’re attempting to improve our grocery shopping budget by only buying food we know will be eaten. Which leads me to this great post on financial fasting. Controlling what you spend is the one financial item you have complete control over.

Using this useful post, my wife and I have managed to avoid buying the same frozen foods at Costco because we thought to look in the freezer before going. Who know planning ahead could save you money? Probably everyone.

However, it was a good use of our time because we avoided buying a few items we wouldn’t have been able to fit in the freezer anyway. If you’re looking to cut back on your spending and find ways to change your spending behavior for the better, I’d suggest looking at this post for ideas on how to start your financial fast.

 

Young and the Invested Post You Might Dig

Condo vs. Apartment: What’s the Difference?

I’m in the middle of preparing my condo for sale and it’s proving to be more effort than I originally thought. Not necessarily from the actual work, but the emotional attachment I have to the place.

It was my first home purchase and served as my primary residence for two and a half years. The effort I speak of is the emotional closure I’m coming to from selling it. Because my wife and I want to buy a place of our own, we’re choosing to sell the condo and raise some capital to help with a down payment.

This piece was sparked by thinking back on my time buying the condo and not entirely knowing what made a condo difference from an apartment. I had an idea, but I didn’t have the specifics. Specifically, when I chose to rent out the unit, I didn’t know how to advertise it?

Was it a condo or was it an apartment? Was it a condo apartment? Admittedly, to this day I use the terms interchangeably because I rented it out. Were it still owner-occupied, it would certainly be a condo.

If you’ve ever been confused by the terms, then be no more.

 

Geeky Fact About Me

I’m an early riser and finally embraced the lifestyle change. Since the beginning of 2019, I wake up between 3:30-4: 00 am every morning (yes, including weekends).

A couple of friends told me of their lifestyle changes and how it has led to more productivity and other associated life hacks. Since then, I’ve been hooked. I’m not sure I could manage going back to the original lifestyle of going to bed 10-10: 30 pm and waking up at 6:30-7: 00 am.

I’m interested in living the best life I can and I feel waking up before the rooster has helped.

 

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About the Author

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Michael launched Your Money Geek to make personal fun and accessible. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.

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